Three Simple Ways to Go Green in 2020

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an electric vehicle is one way to green your home

 

Many of us want to do our bit for the planet. But it’s also overwhelming and confusing about where to start.

In an ideal world our politicians and world leaders would lead by example and make change much easier for all of us. But until that time, it’s up to us to ‘Be The Change’.

It always amazes me when I look at new building developments, that it’s not just accepted that all rooves are covered in solar panels, all homes have electric hookups for charging cars and there are grey water systems installed. We’re still building houses the conventional way, which can be incredibly inefficient.

Governments the world over could look at houses and even resale hdb premises and find a way to make them more energy-efficient. In the meantime, however, it’s down to us – as the home owner – to do what we can.

Start in the kitchen

Almost one-third of the food produced in the world gets lost or wasted and never reaches a human stomach. Just take a minute to let that figure sink in. And imagine what we could do to alleviate world hunger and the issues with feeding our growing population if we distributed that food properly.

There are many things you can do to make the most of the food you buy, including making a shopping list (and sticking to it!), making meals from leftovers, cooking a little extra evening meal to eat as your lunch tomorrow and even growing a few foods at home such as tomatoes in a hanging basket or herbs on the kitchen windowsill.

Rethink transport

The pollution and emissions caused by driving cars is causing untold problems to our environment and health. And it’s frustrating too! I saw a meme this week on Facebook which really struck a chord – it said ‘You’re not stuck in traffic, you ARE the traffic!’ That really got me thinking about how I could reduce my own car usage.

Car pooling or car sharing is a fantastic way to save money, meet new friends and keep cars off the road. If possible, it’s better for your health to walk or cycle and if available, public transport is a good way to reduce your carbon footprint. Look at opportunities to work from home too and ditch the commute altogether. Some employers welcome the idea of staff working part of their week remotely. And if your budget allows, an electric vehicle, charged with renewable electricity can help even more. Electric cars are cheaper to run, reported to be more reliable than regular cars and their popularity is climbing which can help to bring the price down.

Reduce your waste

With programmes like Blue Planet highlighting some of the devastating effects of our single-use plastic consumption on the environment, reducing waste is a great place to start a more sustainable lifestyle. It can also save you money, preserve resources and can be a lot of fun! Start with taking your reusable bags to the shops and get in the habit of carrying a refillable water bottle when out and about. Find out what can be recycled at your kerbside and make full use of the facilities on offer.

Once you have these habits in place you can add more – swap a disposable items for a reusable one (such as a safety razor or cloths for kitchen towel), use charity shops, second hand stores and antique centres when buying items for you home or clothes. Join a local library and learn to repair things. You’ll be amazed what you can do when you put your mind to it.

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